Councillors users of the municipal health council of Belo Horizonte: social characteristics and representativeness

Sílvia França Santos Andréa Maria Duarte Vargas Simone Dutra Lucas About the authors

The concern about the representatives of the users of SUS (Brazil's National Health System) in Municipal Health Councils is a reality, because even with all the legal apparatus that guarantees parity with regard to the other members, it is not possible to guarantee the quality of their participation. The objective of this research was to learn who the Councillors Users of the Municipal Health Council of Belo Horizonte are, their social characteristics, as well as their relation with the base they represent. Quantitative research techniques were applied to learn the characteristics, and qualitative techniques were employed to evaluate the relationship with the base. Regarding the characteristics, it was observed that the majority of the Councillors are retired men with low level of schooling. The terms of office are repeated, suggesting professionalization of this category. The relationship with the base has limitations, mainly concerning communication, and it seems that the continuing education of the Councillors to work adequately with their base may be a solution to this problem.

Health Councils; Users' Participation; Representation

Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil